Turns Out Brand Loyalty Still Matters to Millennials, Sort Of

November 7, 2016

10:30 am

At over 1.7 billion people across Facebook and Instagram, a number accounting for one out of every five minutes of mobile traffic in the U.S., Facebook has insights into consumer behavior that no other organization can offer. So when they talk, the marketing community stands to attention.

Now, Facebook has just uncovered a counterintuitive truth about marketing to the millennial generation: Brand loyalty can still make a difference.

Why It’s a Big Deal

Let’s back up a bit: You need to understand how tough marketing to millennials is across the board. For one thing, advertising is completely ineffective. Studies show two-thirds of audiences are unaffected by native advertising, while just five percent are greatly impacted by social media recommendations. Brands have even turned to textless logos in an attempt to avoid bother millennials with ad copy.

So why does Facebook think brands still have a pull? Two reasons.

Millennials Can Be As Brand-Loyal as Baby Boomers

From the Facebook Insights blog:

“Millennials (ages 18–34) may be known to experiment, but to dismiss them as promiscuous shoppers would be a mistake. In some verticals, they are actually as likely as Boomers (ages 55+) to be Brand Loyalists. Not surprisingly though, Millennials are less loyal in verticals where experience and price play a bigger factor, like Airlines and Hotels.”

The younger crowd may be unaffected by ads, but they still recognize brands and assign a certain amount of credence to them. I’m definitely not surprised to hear that that loyalty falls away among the bigger budgeted items like plane rides and hotel rooms, though: It’s no secret that plenty of millennials are broke, even if those surprised by the fact that they aren’t buying diamonds don’t seem to have grasped the point.

Millennials Still Want to Be Brand-Loyal

From the same the blog:

“Millennials also want to be loyal to brands: they’re 1.75x more likely than Boomers to say they’d like to be brand-loyal, but they still face challenges. We found, however, that many of the challenges Millennials face are unique among them.”

So what’s the takeaway? Brands should focus on the most genuine social media interactions they can muster, building trust in the knowledge that their attempt at branding isn’t completely destined to fail.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He’s based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state’s slogan: “sayWA.” In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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